Page 178 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 41

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JEW ISH BOOK ANNUAL
did not quite know what to make o f his name, Uriel, so she gave
him ano the r name that sounded like it, Harold , and tha t name
stayed with him for the rest o f his life. To his family he rema ined
Uriel o r Uri. He served his country du r ing World War II as a
radio ope ra to r in the Army Air Corps in Ind ia and Ceylon.
He was a man o f character, honest in all he did, said o r wrote.
He was always himself without affectation o f any kind. His mod­
esty would perm it no boasting and , as his daugh ter , a poet in
Jerusa lem , described him, he was “a man without pretensions,
without vanity and without malice.” He made it clear at all times
tha t life owed him nothing, the re fo re he did not complain o r cry
against a fate tha t was not kind to him. Two years af te r a q u ad ru ­
ple bypass he was struck down with cancer. As he used to say with
his dry sense o f humor, “Aside from my two fatal diseases, I’m a
healthy man .” And in a strange and inexplicable way, as his sister
Martha Hadassah Nadich wrote in a tribute to him, he was a
healthy man. “His body may have been stricken bu t his m ind and
spirit never were. His sharp and inquiring m ind rem a ined clear
and alert to the last. T h ree hours before his dea th he discussed
with an ed ito r a book review tha t he would write. His psychology
was never tha t o f a sick person .” While in intensive care after his
cancer opera tion , attached to tubes and bottles, he said to his
sister, “I ’m no t going to use my sickness as a crutch , as an excuse
for not living. I know some people do that, bu t I won’t.” His sister
continues, “And he d idn ’t. He worked. He created , he was in
touch with all tha t went on in the world, he was moved to tears by
the sight o f o the r people suffering , he lived, he loved and he left
the world with no complaints.” And courage was his legacy.
He was streng thened and sustained by the love o f his totally
dedicated wife, Shoshana. His last book holds his message, “To
Shoshana whose love and unders tand ing have en riched and
leng thened the days o f my life.” His son Meir and he enjoyed a
unique harmony with each o ther, and the love o f his daugh ter
Reena and her husband Gavriel was especially sweet to him d u r ­
ing the last year and a ha lf o f his life when they left the ir home in
Jerusa lem to be with him in New York. He loved his gifted chil­
d ren enormously and once told his sister tha t he never felt he
deserved the ir love in re tu rn automatically, bu t tha t he had to
ea rn it, and ea rn it he did. He ado red his two Israeli g randch il­
d ren with g rea t enthusiasm. He loved his sister and h e r family
and the ir love for him was flawless.